Hey there! I'm Akwi Nji, a writer of words meant to be heard.
I'm also a mom to two amazing girls and we share our 1912 craftsman home with a dog and two cats (it's a three-ring circus, really). My life is powered by coffee, a coalition of friends, and a healthy dose of traveling to new-to-me places. I've got a fire in my belly and a ridiculous passion for empowering women and girls to (re)discover our power.
Akwi Nji is an award-winning performance poet + spoken word artist, speaker, and writer who delivers compelling stories that motivate, inspire, and empower audiences.
She has performed professionally on stages throughout the United States including for NPR’s The Moth, has shared the stage with numerous world-renowned writers including Saul Williams and Rachel Hollis, and most recently collaborated with Emmy-award winning composer Stephen Cohn on Love & Life. She is Founder of The Hook, an 2016 Artist Fellow through the Iowa Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, and producer of spoken word + live lit events that use a community’s story to activate empathy and trust.
Akwi was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and raised in Cameroon, Africa, for the first nine years of her life. After these unique and formative years in Cameroon, she moved with her family to Springville, Iowa, and then, eventually, to Cedar Rapids. Her experiences as a Cameroonian, a Cameroonian-American in small-town Iowa, and a bi-racial teenager in the most ethnically diverse school in the city all provided an eclectic foundation for her early writing and observations into human relationships and the power of story.
Akwi received the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success and was named one of the 2016 Corridor Business Journal’s Forty Under 40. Her writing is both deeply personal and strikingly universal. Her work explores the complexities of womanhood, parenthood, race, political and social issues, concepts of home, and the tension between the outsider and the insider.